County adopts budget in special session

Commissioners express desire to talk to city over 911 funding

The Vance County Board of Commissioners met at 5:00 p.m. on June 26, 2008 to approve the budget for fiscal 2008-2009.

According to County Manager Jerry Ayscue, the tax rate for the upcoming fiscal year will be 79.8 cents per $100 of valuation. Last year’s rate was 92 cents per $100. However, in light of the recent reevaluation of property in the county, the “revenue-neutral” rate (the rate that does not, on average, represent an increase or decrease in ad valorum taxation) is 80.9 cents per $100.

Ayscue characterized the rate as “a very small reduction”.

This year’s fire tax is set at 2.61 cents. Fiscal 2007-2008’s rate was 3 cents, and the revenue-neutral rate was determined to be 2.61 cents.

The household solid waste fee increased by $7.50.

Ayscue told commissioners that the City of Henderson adopted its budget on Monday and that it had reduced contributions to Emergency 911 by the amount of two vacant positions that were in the current year’s budget and annualized for next year. He went on to say that one of the vacant positions is frozen and the other one will be funded for the full year.

The county manager said that he wants further discussions with the city.

The county will not change its funding for 911. The city’s withholding of funds changes county/city contribution levels to 51.7% to 48.3%.

Ayscue went on to say that the board should be commended for the budget.

Board of Commissioners Chair Danny Wright said that it is “imperative” to get the city back to the table to discussion how they are going to meet “this contract”.

The contract for the funding of Emergency 911 between the county and city calls for each to contribute 50% of the budget.

Danny Wright said that [the city] is “arbitrarily” changing the funding ratio.

“Now we have something to talk about,” Danny Wright said.

Board member Dan Brummitt pointed out that it is “the second year in a row” that the “city has come at the last minute and not operated in terms of our contracts.”

After the vote to approve, Danny Wright noted that it is the fourth straight year that the county has not had a tax increase. He added that taxes have only risen by 2 cents in the last six years.

“I believe we’re operating a very tight finance program here,” Danny Wright said.

The council also unanimously approved a motion to authorize the year-end closeout before adjourning the meeting.